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A substantial quantity of testing has been performed on the degradation of paper insulation over the decades. The aim being to better educate the electrical industry on how to best operate expensive assets, such as transformers. The longevity of paper insulation is frequently tested using accelerated ageing experiments, where the effects of temperature and the chemical environment on paper lifespan can be studied. Such research has resulted in paper life expectancy curves being published by the IEEE and the IEC. The investigations tend to use sealed vessels. However, the disadvantage of using this method is that the water content of the paper changes during the ageing process which then changes the ageing rate. In these ageing experiments the water and oxygen content was controlled using a special test rig to compare the ageing rate to previous work and to determine the ageing effect of paper by combining temperature, water content of paper and oxygen content of the oil. We found that the rate of paper ageing can be more accurately determined by controlling the water and oxygen during the experiment which then produced noticeable changes in predicting life expectancy.